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Haney Holland, and over the years it came to be known by his name. An apostrophe rarely appears, but there is absolutely no agreement about whether it should be written Holland or Hollands. The 1910 census reads “Hollands Island,” so I’m going with that. We don’t know whether the owners lived on the island or leased it out. Nor do we know how many families were in residence in the 18th and early 19th centuries. One can assume that someone lived on this beautiful island and enjoyed the good farming, fishing and hunting. Details of this first 150 years are very sketchy. After the Civil War, however, big things began happening around

the Bay. Maryland lifted the ban on oyster dredging in 1865, canning machines had become available, and there was a growing network of ra i lroad s. The simu lta neous combination of larger harvests and vast new markets sparked a massive boom in the oyster business. The Maryland harvest ramped up annually, reaching its peak in 1884 at 15 million bushels. The Bay could not withstand such an onslaught, and the catch quickly declined to around 2 million bushels by 1915. I suspect the people on Hollands Isla nd responded to t he oyster boom much the same way others did: they jumped aboard. Farming continued, of course, but many men began to “follow the water” as their

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July 2015 ttimes web magazine  
July 2015 ttimes web magazine  

Tidewater Times july 2015